Of all the myths causing heartache, few compare to the one which says that once we track down our elusory soulmate, everything will fall into place for us.
Anaïs Nin put it succinctly when she said: “Where the myth fails, human love begins.”
Mythologist Joseph Campbell teased this idea out further, saying:
“The whole thing in marriage is the relationship and yielding - knowing the functions, knowing that each is playing a role in an organism. One of the things I have realized - and people who have been married a long time realize - is that marriage is not a love affair.
A love affair has to do with immediate personal satisfaction. But marriage is an ordeal; it means yielding, time and again. That's why it's a sacrament: you give up your personal simplicity to participate in a relationship. And when you're giving, you're not giving to the other person: you're giving to the relationship. And if you realize you are in the relationship just as the other person is, then it becomes life building, a life fostering and enriching experience, not an impoverishment because you're giving to somebody else...
What a beautiful thing is a life together as growing personalities, each helping the other to flower, rather than just moving into the standard archetype. It's a wonderful moment when people can make the decision to be something quite astonishing and unexpected, rather than cookie-mold products.”
So how did that play out in concrete terms in his own life?
Joseph Campbell inspired his partner Jean Erdman to incorporate myth into her work as a dancer and choreographer. Conversely, Jean helped Joseph climb down from the towers of intellectual abstraction he lived in, to teach students about relationship and other areas of life in practical, meaningful terms.
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Unfortunately, high functioning relationships are often the exception rather than the norm. Unless we commit to our self-development and endeavour to gain greater self-awareness, relationships inevitably languish. As psychologist James Hollis put it:
“The more we wish another person to repair our wounds, meet our needs, and protect us from having to grow up, really grow up, the more dissatisfying the relationship will prove over the long haul. It will swamp in stagnation. If, however, we can see that the relationship is a summons to growth, in part by encountering the otherness of our partner, the relationship will support each person risking, stretching, and growing beyond the point where they entered.”
Numerology uses the form of sacred-geometry to express the growth process.
The number 1 is symbolised by a dot. This captures the single-mindedness and intensity of individual will. A circle can be formed by making a line that begins and ends with itself. Individuality can be thought of as a bubble, or isolating principle.
The number 2 is represented by the intersection of two individuals. This pairing of opposites unites to create a Vesica Piscics. The centre of this is the Mandorla, an Italian word for almond-shaped.
In numerology, the number 2 symbolises co-operation, partnership and harmony. It is the polarity of the number 1.
One of our foundational challenges in life is balancing our authenticity to become individuals while maintaining relationships and effective boundaries.
Carl Jung said, “The unrelated human being lacks wholeness, for he can achieve wholeness only through the soul, and the soul cannot exist without its other side, which is always found in a ‘You.”’
Only after we spend sufficient time working on ourselves and expressing what’s important to us can we create the container where we can effectively love and receive the love, which can give further impetus to our development.
James Hollis points out that, “Whether in a relationship or not, each of us has a profound need to feel the resonant support of the soul, to feel that we are participants in a divinely generated story.”
In the case of couples like Joseph Campbell and Jean Erdman, they each felt they had their own vocation in life and through coming together in conscious relationship, they were better placed to express their individuation while supporting one another’s expression.
When 3 dots join with one another we create a triangle, the first 3d object, which symbolises an outwards expression. Consider the birth of a child. Two partners who may have focused their energy on each other, now devote themselves to a third being.
In numerology, 3 represents expression, be it communication, creative or other.
Jung believed that wholeness comes through relationship with another. Only in such fashion can the third appear. If we have only a conversation with ourselves, as a hermit might, we can easily get caught in the looping tape of our own madness, or our own stagnant, self-confirming neurosis. James Hollis offers this:
“A more mature relationship is based on “otherness” itself, on the dialectical principle that demonstrates that my one and your one together create the third. The “third” is the developmental process that results as we influence each other in turn; we grow by incorporating that influence into our private sensibilities. We do not learn and grow by all subscribing to the same school of thought, copying the same values, or voting the same way. We grow from the experience of our differences, although in insecure moments we quickly forget this. The capacity to include those differences, even incorporate them into an ever broader, more sophisticated range of choices, is the chief task, and gift, of an evolving relationship.”
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Our retreat for couples is designed to balance relaxation, reconnection and deepening of your relationship with self and each other.